Author Influences with Joyce Schneider

I’m thrilled to be joined by Joyce Schneider today to talk about her author influences. Joyce’s latest thriller Watching You is published on 25 April 2017 and she will be joining me again on the 28 April as part of the Watching You blog tour with a great guest post. Anyhoo it’s time to get on with finding out about her author influences…

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
Nancy Drew – all of ‘em, over & over. Also Treasure Island, which I also read again & again. There are parts of Treasure Island I used to know by heart.

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
Yes, I loved it. My English teacher, Miss Sullivan (at Classical High School in Worcester, Massachusetts), used to rebuke me for “making speeches” when asked a question. Other times, she’d ask the class questions (meaning of theme, language, tone, etc) and say, “Put your hand down, Joyce. We KNOW you know.” Ha! The rest of the class thought it was funny. Miss Sullivan was on the mean/austere side, so I used to enjoy annoying the hell out of her. She looked like a crabby old frog.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
Mysteries & thrillers. Yes, totally.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I wouldn’t.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
Yes. First, I majored in French Literature in college (that’s American for University). Then I worked at Newsweek Magazine where they all wrote, dreamed out loud of quitting “just spewing the news” and writing the Great American Novel. Some of them did succeed, & would come back to visit, encourage, and poke, “why are you still here? Start writing nights, weekends.”

But most of all, Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby which I finally caught up to had the biggest impact. Ditto his other great books: The Stepford Wives & The Boys from Brazil. I still read them, over & over.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Not really. What I love is re-reading my old favorites, paperbacks now falling apart. Besides Ira Levin they include Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile and Marathon Man, a book so high adrenalin, heart-breaking, & stunning in concept that I can’t think of any contemporaries that come even close. Its author is William Goldman, who wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Princess Bride, etc.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
Rosemary’s Baby. Written way before the term “psychological thriller,” and, I think, better than all of them. No one shows the banality of evil as subtly – & with such ingenious brevity – as Ira Levin.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Somewhat. Mostly, bits & pieces of movies or TV cop shows including Criminal Minds, Dexter, etc seem to collect, uncatalogued, in my mind, and then reorganize, come out in a whole new idea.

A huge thank you Joyce for taking part.

Thanks right back for including me, Abbie! The pleasure is mine! 🙂

Look out for Joyce’s next novel Watching You on 20 April 2017

A serial killer texts his victims first. A detective vows revenge. He comes after her.

In the chill of an October night, Detective Kerri Blasco is called to a bizarre murder scene. Leda Winfield, a young volunteer for the homeless, has been shot. Her cell phone displays the frightening text, WATCHING YOU, and into her back, hideously pushed with a hat pin, is a note with the same awful message. Leda’s socialite family and friends insist that no one would have wanted to harm her, but Detective Kerri isn’t convinced.

Until another random young woman is killed in exactly the same way. Kerri and her team profile a monstrous killer who enjoys terrifying his victims before stalking and killing them. But how does he get their phone numbers?

Kerri soon finds that the killer is after her, too, and that the key to finding him may just be in the homeless shelter. When the body count rises, she vows to stop the madman – even if it means battling her own personal trauma, risking her job, her love relationship with her boss Alex Brand, and her life.

Fans of Karin Slaughter, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Abbott will be gripped by this nonstop serial killer thriller, guaranteed to keep you reading late into the night.

About Joyce Schneider

J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine. She is the author of the Embryo medical thriller series, and of the Detective Kerri Blasco Police/Psychological Thrillers Fear Dreams, Her Last Breath, and Watching You.

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